We love summer. The energy and warmth of sunshine, the pleasure of a gentle breeze, the lake or pool, BBQ with friends and family… We love summer!
We love summer… except when having to clean carpet. Frugal school districts attempting to conserve energy costs by turning off HVAC systems, which robs us of air movement for proper drying of extracted carpets. Small windows of time allotted to remove nine months of sand, food, drink, bodily fluids, and unknown substances. Unmaintained or old equipment not operating at peak performance. These all hinder our ability to effectively produce the positive end result of creating clean & healthy facilities.
Tips & Tricks for Consistent Results
- Work with the buildings or school districts Facility Director in regards to HVAC concerns. Communicate your cleaning schedule and ask that the HVAC be scheduled to be on, following your carpet cleaning “path”. By working systematically from room-to-room, wing-to-wing, building-to-building, most Facility Directors are willing to schedule their HVAC to accommodate. Communication and preparation are key.
- Do everything in your power to get the cleaned carpet dry as fast as possible. Once extraction is finished, consider going over the carpet with a 17” or 20” 175RPM Floor Machine using a dry carpet bonnet. Moisture moves from wet to dry substrates/materials. The bonnet, along with slight amount of friction, will speed up the drying process. Lastly, AIR MOVEMENT is vital to your success. Carpet Fans/Blowers/Air Movers are a small investment. Buy them. Use them. No excuses.
- All cleaning is chemistry. Same holds true with carpet cleaning. Some key thoughts:
- Always pre-spray using a high pH carpet Pre-Spray correctly diluted.
- Apply liberally. You should be able to see a shoe imprint after spraying. If not, apply more.
- Don’t pre-spray too large of an area. You don’t want your chemical to dry before you can extract it
- Dwell time IS important: 10-20 minutes gives the chemical time to work.
- If you have time to agitate using a floor machine with soft bristle carpet brush, use it. Agitation yields positive results.
- Do use a low pH Rinse Agent in the solution tank of your extractor. Why? To counter- balance the high pH of your Pre-Spray. This is basic chemistry – balancing your alkaline with an acid for net result of pH neutral.
- Hot water, with correctly diluted rinse agent, in solution tank is best.
- Mold? Don’t panic. It happens to all of us and will probably happen to us again. You’ve done everything right, yet that fuzzy stuff just seems to appear. Before you go crazy and simply extract again (adding more moisture into an already overly moist circumstance, try spraying with a sanitizing solution – AND – get the Carpet Fans/Blowers/Air Movers working asap.
- Another key to success is well-maintained equipment. A carpet extractor, when brand new, only recovers 80% of the solution is puts down, regardless of what equipment manufacturers will tell you. Used equipment recovers even less. Poorly maintained equipment significantly hinders your ability to provide the desired result.
- Keep your extractor clean – inside & out.
- Rinse and wipe the vacuum shoe after each use.
- Use DEFOAMER to protect the vacuum motor and to be more productive.
- When cleaning extractor at the end of a shift, run the vacuum motor with the tank open drawing dry air through the motor to help dry up moisture that has collected. Run for two to three minutes
- Test your jet pattern periodically to make sure they are spraying evenly and are not clogged. If clogged, do not clean with a sharp tool. Doing so will only change the size of the jet opening impacting the spray pattern. It’s better to remove and soak in a mild acid solution to remove the deposit. After soaking, rinse with water and replace.
Summer is not the ideal time to clean carpet. Humidity is not your friend. By utilizing common sense and some tips and tricks, you can continually produce outstanding results regardless of the time of year.